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Household dander not big allergy factor

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LONDON, Sep 29, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- British researchers Wednesday said reducing household allergens likely will not have a big impact on childhood asthma and respiratory allergies.

Writing in the medical journal Thorax, the team from the Imperial College School of Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute said the findings undermine long-held beliefs the intensity of early life exposure to allergens, such as dust mites or cat dander, directly influenced the risk of developing allergies and asthma.

They studied 625 children in one town in southern England from birth until age 5, at which time 552 were tested for sensitization to house dust mite, cat fur and grass pollens.

Allergen levels had been measured in house dust samples from the living room floor when the children were 8 weeks old.

One in 10 children was sensitized to house dust mite or cat fur by the age of 5, and one in 14 had associated wheezing in the preceding year. No significant links were found, however, between levels of early life exposure to household allergens and either sensitization or frequency of wheezing.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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